Thursday, July 21, 2016

Radical Acceptance

A simple principle of change is that you have to accept something as being true before you are willing to work to change it. This seemingly simple truism is essential for scholars learn, and is often a prerequisite to total self acceptance. Without truly coming to terms with the relationship between acceptance and transformation, it is hard for scholars to give up constantly critiquing and judging every move they make (especially with their writing!). 

Many clients that I have worked with struggle with the notion of self acceptance, or radical self acceptance as I think of it, as they worry that adopting such a perspective will lead to mediocrity. They worry that if they accept themslves and their current skill-set as it currently is, that they will subsequent become resigned to their current "state" and will slip into complacency.

However, as I began this post, accepting yourself totally as being the way you are supposed to be in this moment actually creates the possibility of change. If you accept a truth about yourself, and really allow yourself to feel it without being overwhelmed by it, its far easier to face. I know this feel uncomfortable, but its very, very true.

Radial acceptance. Total acceptance. As a way of moving forward. As a way of being. As a path to growth.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Happy Monday!

Nothing of deep import is on my mind, so lets just write! Writing is a method of inquiry, and leads to the creation of that which is new.

My online article writing workshop starts in a week. If you are hoping to be more productive, I hope you join us. I also include two free hours of coaching along with it. I am excited about starting; this is the first time I have conducted this workshop in a four week, online version. It is a good deal of the material that I teach in my two day live workshops, but of course, there are pros and cons to both. I like the possibility of longitudinally being able to digest and practice skills; and opportunities for more sustained engagement. Still, it is new, so much to work on.

Things are good with me. My baby (almost 19!) is now living back in Tacoma. She starts her first year of college after a wonderful gap year in the Alps; what an amazing person she has become (always was, but....). I am thrilled that she is going to school at UWT, so I will get to hang out with her on campus. That is almost a bucket list item that I have not dared to put on my list; it is her life, her dreams. I am now a witness. Writing this, tears start welling in my eyes (surprise to nobody who knows me); I am in my favorite coffeehouse, so enough with this.

A bit of writing on two book revisions. Online teaching. The gym. Life is simple. Life is good.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

20 Reasons Why I Love Coaching

1) I get to work with amazing people
2) I get to be a small part of amazing people living their dreams
3) I get to be a small part of amazing people doing amazing work
4) I get to help people resolve blocks that change not only their careers, but their lives
5) I get to work with amazing people
6) I get to maximize my strengths as a therapist, scholar, academic, bratty-trickster
7) I get to help others maximize their strengths
8) I get to become useless to people as they resolve their "stuff" and become who they wish to be
9) I am really good at what I do, so I get to feel a sense of self efficacy
10) I get to work with amazing people
11) I get to challenge myths about writing and publishing that don't serve most scholars well
12) I get to help people make little fixes that lead to big changes
13) I get to actualize my social work values
14) I have a blast! I laugh. I have fun!
15) I get to work with amazing people
16) I get to live my core value of Tikkun Olam
17) I get to challenge my skills, and develop who I am
18) I get to develop and test new ideas; I am always challenged to learn
19) I am gifted and honored with people trusting me with their most vulnerable selves
20) Did I mention I get to work with amazing people?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happy 5th of July

You took the holidays off. Good for you! Now, comes the task of reentering your work. It can feel nearly impossible, at times, having to push back into a space that feels uninviting, annoying, and unnatural. This is the problem with too many days off. 

To get you back in, I want you to think of two places in your primary writing project that still need attention, preferably something you can do without too much preparation. 

Now, assign heads to one, and tails to the other. Flip coin. Enter work, and see if you can even write 50 words. If you want to stop after fifty, that is up to you. Once you do that, you have at least broken the seal. Your in.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Accepting your gifts, and trusting

Some thoughts on self acceptance today; I am going to be real about a struggle I am having. For well over three decades, I have used writing as a way of understanding myself, of learning things about my lived experience of myself that I would not otherwise have. Maybe once I process what I wish to explore, I will find a way of bending it back to the issues I address in this blog. If not, so be it.

This summer I am set to do a couple of grant reviews for federal agencies. I have been a federal grant reviewer since 2004. The truth is, I am sick of doing them.

Taking grant reviews is very practical. I can get them. I am signed up for doing a couple. Yet, they do take a lot of time, but sure money is good when you have a kid entering college. If I take them, however, I may have to say no to potential coaching clients, and that is work that I love.

It comes down to how much I trust in myself, trust the worth of what I offer to others, and that somehow things will work out. Trust in myself, or in some general "goodness" of the universe that I am not always in touch with? Not easy.

So, what would I reflect back to someone else who presented this scenario?

I would probably reflect that I wonder what would happen if you gave yourself to that which you are passionate about, and for which you have gifts. Would you not be more likely to be successful in the long term? Could you not use your energy that would go to grant reviews in a way that would be of service to others, while working on trusting that all will be ok?

This resonates as very true for me, yet, it is scary to let go, trust, and just put my best self out there in the world and let the chips fall as they may.

I don't think I need to consciously bend this back to any lesson on writing or publishing. I will trust you to do that work. Trust in myself. Trust in others. Say no to grant reviews. It has been decided.